Our recipe for Low-Carb Mexican Taco Casserole puts spicy, cheesy goodness on your table–without the carbs. This family-friendly dish can be part of a low-carb, keto, Atkins, gluten-free, grain-free, or Banting diet. Our taco casserole makes a taco lover’s low-carb dream come true!
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This casserole boasts layers of spicy ground beef and creamy spicy cheese sauce. Yep, there’s some riced cauliflower in there, but any cauliflower flavor just disappears in all of that spicy goodness. Nobody will guess it isn’t really rice hiding in the sauce.
This recipe can be made using ingredients you can find at your local grocery store. There’s nothing specialized and nothing fancy. It’s the kind of food you’ll want to warm up with while snuggled in sweat pants on a cold day.
I like to use grass fed beef for this recipe due to its healthier fat composition. Grass fed beef can be tough to find, but I find that Butcher Box will deliver it right to you door. Click here to check it out their special deal for this month.
You can get this casserole in the oven in less than half an hour–probably less than 20 minutes if you’re really organized. It’s comfort food that’s simple and easy.
This recipe was inspired by my readers comments on my recipe for taco pie. The taco pie is one of the most popular recipes on the blog, so I know that many of you enjoy this flavor combination. However, some people were hesitant to try it because they have an aversion to eggs.
I decided to try a recipe that embraced similar flavors, but is less quiche-like. Since rice is frequently served as a side dish with Mexican food, I decided to layer riced cauliflower. Riced cauliflower gives the same feel as rice, but without as many carbs.
The sauce that I use is based on my low-carb cheese sauce, but I added some salsa to spice it up a bit.
Tips and tricks
This recipe isn’t difficult to make. The results will be slightly different depending on what taco seasoning and what salsa you use. Use your favorite and make it your own!
Be careful when choosing a taco seasoning. Many of them contain starches and sugars which will increase the carb count. If you want to avoid these, as well as flavor enhances such as MSG, you can make your own with my recipe for taco seasoning.
Salsas can also vary in carb content. Sometimes they are laced with sugar and fruits that can elevate the number of carbs, so be sure to read the label.
Riced cauliflower is simply cauliflower that is cut up into little rice-like pieces. Sometimes it is referred to as minced cauliflower. A few days ago, I saw it referred to as “pearled rice”. What a fancy name!
I use frozen pre-riced cauliflower in this recipe. While I did not defrost it before use, some people have found that the casserole can get too runny if they do this. I suspect that is because of differences in water content in the frozen cauliflower. I am now recommending to lightly sauté the cauliflower in a nonstick pan for a few minutes to melt and evaporate any extra water and lightly cook the cauliflower. This should get rid of water so it doesn’t come out in the casserole sauce.
Frozen riced cauliflower has a less potent flavor than fresh cauliflower. It’s widely available in the frozen vegetable aisle of the grocery store. If you can’t find frozen riced cauliflower, fresh will work fine in this recipe. I see it frequently in the produce section. You can also rice your own cauliflower using a food processor or grater. As with the frozen cauliflower, a quick saute will release any water and prevent it from getting released in the sauce.
I love serving this casserole with toppings you would put on tacos. Sour cream, guacamole, diced tomatoes, onions and additional cheese are all great choices.
This Low-Carb Mexican Taco Casserole recipe may just be my new favorite recipe on the blog. It’s a perfect way to warm up this winter. Try it and let me know what you think! Enjoy!
Are you looking for other recipes that use ground beef? You might want to try my taco pie, my Italian casserole, or this keto cheeseburger casserole from Low Carb Yum. My Montana Kitchen has a post with a wonderful selection of keto casseroles as well.
Low-Carb Mexican Taco Casserole
This recipe for Low-Carb Mexican Taco Casserole puts spicy, cheesy goodness on your table--without the carbs. This family-friendly dish can be part of a low-carb, keto, Atkins, gluten-free, grain-free, or Banting diet. This easy recipe is a taco lover's low-carb dream come true!
Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Grease an 8" x 8" baking dish or similar size casserole with butter or coconut oil.
Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and break up into small pieces. Cook, stirring frequently, until meat has browned. Drain if necessary. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the browned meat and stir in.
Very lightly saute the cauliflower in a non-stick pan. This will help release any water so it doesn't make the sauce watery. Spread two cups of the riced cauliflower in the bottom of the baking dish.
Sprinkle half of the spiced meat over the riced cauliflower.
Top the meat with 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup packed) of the cheddar cheese.
Layer the last two cups of cauliflower over the cheddar cheese.
Spread the rest of the spiced meat over the cauliflower. Set aside.
Pour the cream into a 1 1/2 quart heavy saucepan. Add 4 ounces (about 1 cup packed) of the grated cheese (this leaves one ounce (about 1/4 cup packed) for later). Put saucepan over medium-low heat.
Heat cream and cheese, stirring frequently, until cheese has melted. Stir in the salsa. Bring mixture to a simmer and simmer gently until mixture has thickened enough to coat a spoon.
Taste sauce and add sea salt and black pepper if desired. Pour sauce over the contents of the baking dish.
Top with the remaining ounce of cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until cheese has melted and contents are bubbly in the center.
Sprinkle green onion on top to garnish.